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Dr. Roots Foundational Gifts

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by drsha, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. drsha

    drsha Banned

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    This is a good moment to list the many gifts that Merton Root D.P.M. provided the functional lower extremity world and the foot and postural suffering world with as a tribute to his greatness and the importance of his work, lest we forget.

    1. Replaced the arch support with the orthotic
    2. Developed common biomechanical language
    3. Developed a pathological foot diagnostic classification
    4. Invented the STJ Neutral Paradigm
    5. Developed a paradigm for understranding rearfoot to forefoot relationships
    6. Developed principles for posting when prescribing orthotics
    7. Took biomechanics into the laboratory
    8. Created reasons for inspecting and understanding kenesiology, kinematics and kinetics when it comes to diagnosing and treating feet
    9. Placed Podiatry on the map at the top of the Biomechanical Pyramid
    10. Created Subtalar Neutral Casting
    11. Developed Laboratory Protocols for fabrication of orthotic from negative plaster models

    Hail to The Chief
  2. Alex Adam

    Alex Adam Active Member

    The greatest gift he gave was the challenge, to understand the concept and apply it to the uniquness of the person.
    His inspiration has allowed my research in functional anatomy of the cuboid to stay on track
    Alex Adam
  3. A timely thread! :good:. Whatever we may think in terms of recent developments Drs Root Orion and Weed (lets not forget them!) were the ones who raised our eyes from the vagueries of Arch Supports to the Science of the Sub talar joint.

    If biomechanics are evolving, this work marked the first of the animals to drag themselves from sea onto the land and try to get the tricky business of legs worked out!

    This was the model T ford, the Wright Bro's first aeroplane, Fleming's special fungus!


  4. Interesting, if you go back to the late sixties and early seventies, the then journal of the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists- "The Chiropodist" featured a number of articles by A. (?) Swallow. If you read these, you'll realise that here in the UK some were taking a tissue stress approach to podiatric biomechanics back then. Applying engineering science to the foot and lower extremity. If you continue to read through the volumes and issues of the journal, you'll see that some then jumped upon the formulaic bandwagon coming from across the pond and we were clearly side tracked for a while after the publications by Root et al. This recipe approach was easy and didn't need you to think too much. Separatists remained though. Read the literature, much to be learned from historical texts. If you're looking for pearls, sometimes you need to dive deeper than the mid to late seventies- which lets face it, gave us Disco and flares (but not the birth of modern podiatric biomechanics).

    Internationally, what about: Arthur Steindler; Verne T. etc etc

    To me, Rootian biomechanics as published by Merton and Colleagues is more analogous in evolutionary terms to the dinosaurs; a side branch that flourished for a while and then died out. Think crocodiles and sharks....... bit's still remain, but other aspects have "died out" and been superseded, for good reason. Survival of the fittest.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2009
  5. A.W. Swallow: here he is: http://www.members.feetforlife.org/download/6742/Chelsea-School-of-Chiropody-part-4.pdf

    Along with Theodore Coates, Dave Ashcroft and above all Lew Russell- my old boss, a great man who taught me much- not least the things you could do with plastazoate!!! A true lab man, who experimented with doped cellulose and "played with" the early thermo-setting plastic orthoses and early silicone sheeting (way too oily- right?). Always willing to tell me about the old days and share his wisdom when we were down in the lab together (I suspect, straight down your boulevard Robeer). Lew, I learned much more from you than you'll ever know, you too John F.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2009
  6. Sounds like my kind of guy! Give me a mashed up foot and a lab and i'm at my happiest.

    I still think this should be a bigger part of undergrad training! A lot of graduates escape uni without knowing whats involved in making an orthotic and i'm sure that affects how we think when prescribing. Nothing like getting covered in glue and plaster to bring you back down to earth!

    I'll have a look at that article, sounds interesting!

  7. I think I made and dispensed one Burkocork device when I was an undergrad, so nothing has changed nothing much in that time. Several thousand devices later....

    How can you prescribe if you don't understand manufacture? Moreover, how can you trouble-shoot if you don't know what was done?

    Too many people in it for the money, too many people who haven't got a clue. One of my local "reps" for a lab is someone I taught as an undergraduate- she was absolutely rubbish when it came to appliances- and biomechanics in general. Now she is trying to sell orthoses to me. Frankly, I'd rather eat my own ****.
  8. Reading the works of Royal Whitman from a century ago is inspirational and certainly makes us realize how much of what we know today about feet and orthoses was in place a few generations before Merton Root and colleagues began teaching podiatrists their ideas.

    Whitman, Royal: Observations of forty-five cases of flat-foot with particular reference to etiology and treatment. Boston Med. Surg. J. 118:598, 1888.

    Whitman, R: The importance of positive support in the curative treatment of weak feet and a comparison of the means employed to assure it. Am. J. Orth. Surg. 11:215-230, 1913.

    Whitman, Royal: A Treatise on Orthopaedic Surgery. 6th Edition. Lea & Febiger, Philadephia, 1919.

    Nice analogy, Simon. I agree.:drinks

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